New Publication: The Hidden Life of Textiles in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean: Contexts and Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Islamic, Latinate and Eastern Christian Worlds, edited by Nikolaos Vryzidis

The book contains published papers of the conference ‘Textiles & Identity in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean: Paradigms of Contexts and Cross-Cultural Exchanges’ of the British School at Athens held at the (Benaki) Museum of Islamic Art in 2016, as well as some new contributions.

The focus in this wide-ranging collection of studies by key scholars in the field is on textiles and their functions in various Mediterranean contexts (and beyond) during medieval and post-medieval times (ca. 10th-19th c.). The scope of the contributions encompasses archaeological, anthropological and art historical perspectives on a great variety of subjects, such as textiles from the Byzantine Empire and the Medieval Islamic World (e.g. Spain, Mamluk Egypt, Seljuk Anatolia), as well as the production and use of textiles in Italy, the Ottoman Empire, Armenia and Ethiopia. The volume offers a state-of-the-art of an often still hardly known area of study of textiles as historical and cultural sources of information, which makes it essential reading for scholars and a larger audience alike.

The book includes contributions by Laura Rodríguez Peinado, Ana Cabrera-Lafuente, Avinoam Shalem, Scott Redford, Maria Sardi, Vera-Simone Schulz, Nikolaos Vryzidis, Marielle Martiniani-Reber, Elena Papastavrou, Jacopo Gnisci and Dickran Kouymjian.

Nikolaos Vryzidis received his PhD from SOAS, University of London, with a thesis on Greek clerical costume of the Ottoman period. He has already published on the subject in journals like Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Convivium, Iran, JOTSA and Orientalia Christiana Periodica. His research interests are centred on material culture of religion, cross-cultural encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean, and Byzantine-Islamic interchange.

Find out more here.

Table of Contents

  • Laura Rodríguez Peinado (Complutense University of Madrid) & Ana Cabrera-Lafuente (Museo del Traje, Madrid), New approaches in Mediterranean textile studies: Andalusí textiles as case study
  • Avinoam Shalem (Columbia University), Metaphors we dress with: Medieval poetics about textiles
  • Scott Redford (SOAS, University of London), Flags of the Seljuk sultanate of Anatolia: Visual and textual evidence
  • Maria Sardi (Independent scholar), Foreign influences in Mamluk textiles: The formation of a new aesthetic
  • Vera-Simone Schulz (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Entangled identities: Textiles and the art and architecture of the Appenine peninsula in a trans-Mediterranean perspective
  • Nikolaos Vryzidis (Independent scholar), Animal motifs on Asian textiles used by the Greek Church: A case study of Christian acculturation. Appendix by Dimitris Loupis: Woven Islamic inscriptions
  • Marielle Martiniani-Reber (Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva), Quelques aspects des relations entre productions textiles byzantine et arabe au Xe-XIe siècles
  • Elena Papastavrou (Hellenic Ministry of Culture), Osmosis in Ottoman Constantinople: The iconography of Greek church embroidery
  • Jacopo Gnisci (Oxford University), Ecclesiastic dress in Medieval Ethiopia: Preliminary remarks on the visual evidence
  • Dickran Kouymjian (California State University, Fresno), Armenian altar curtains: Repository of tradition and artistic innovation
  • Nikolaos Vryzidis, Concluding remarks: Textiles as units of transmission

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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